the price of democracy

yesterday two children died in the cross fire the police resorted to, to quell angry mobs.

The mobs were exercising their democratic right to dissent against what has become a Kafkaesque cat and mouse game between the authorities, the courts and the people of Delhi.

For the past year the citizens of not quite understood the urban laws of this city that has grown defeating all rules. But were there rules one may ask?

Maybe they were, but a host of options were graciously made available provided you were ready to 'pay' for them. Once in a while a cosmetic drive was undertaken but to no avail.

Some of us stuck to the law and were often made fun of, as one's old house stood amidst the new builder's monster that mushroomed around us, even taking away the rays of sunshine that use to stream every morning in our rooms.

To say one was not tempted would be an untruth, but then the old precepts one was taught came rushing to your mind. the law will catch up one day, you must stick by the rules, even it means waiting at a red light in the dead of the night when no cars ply; but how can one forget the death of a dear friend when a truck came rushing a deserted crossroad breaking a red light and keeling a young mother.In today's India sticking by the rules lands you in labour court, earns you unpleasant attributes and labels, and makes you the laughing stock of cocktail parties.Today in the prevailing confusion no one knows what will happen.

I know for a fact that many small shop keepers ear a day to day life, and if deprived of their income will have none at all. Laws when broken with impunity land you in situation when sifting out the honest from the guilty becomes an impossible task. but one must remember that when it is a question of livelihood, seemingly placid people turn violent, the French revolution is a sad reminder of that.

Two children died, but would there death solve anything or will they become a sad statistic in Delhi's history. what frightened me yesterday was the reaction of the powers that be of were trying to explain the situation away with priceless inanities: politically motivated, passing the buck to those who 'paid' for services etc...

We all know that justice the symbol of justice is a blindfolded lady, but can we beseech her to open one eye and see with her heart before more children become sad statistics.


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